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Instagram now asks for everyone's birthday to create a 'safer' place for younger users

New Instagram safety measure where users are asked to provide their birthday

In March, Instagram introduced some safety measures meant to help protect children from adults with malicious intent. Those measures include barring adults from sending direct messages to users under the age of 18 who don't follow them, among others.

Today, Instagram announced additional steps to keep "safer, more private experiences for young people" on the platform. The social media service will now ask you to share your birthday with Instagram if you haven't done yet. It says the new measure is intended to tailor the user experience based on age group and serve more relevant ads to the right users.

It's not the first time Instagram is asking users to provide their birthday. The service has been doing so for users who sign up since December 2019, although that's not mandatory. Therefore, some people may have skipped that part.

Over the coming weeks, however, you'll begin to see a prompt on the platform asking you to share your birth date if you haven't previously provided that information. There are two conditions under which you'll see that prompt: when you open the app and when you encounter sensitive posts hidden behind a warning screen.

While you can initially dismiss the prompt, you'll eventually need to provide your birthday information in order to continue using the app. For people who lie about their real birth dates, Instagram says it's working on new AI-based systems to detect when you're bluffing and ask you to verify your real birthday through a number of steps.

It's the latest step in Instagram's broader effort to maintain a safe environment for younger users. Last month, it started defaulting new accounts of users under the age of 16 into private profiles.

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